At-large questionnaire: SchulenbergName:Dustin Schulenberg
Residence: 1057 Birch Ave.
Family: Wife Angie, children Alek and Taylor
Public involvement: River City Days Committee, Red Wing Hockey coach and board member, Red Wing Elks Lodge past exalted ruler.
Education: Graduated From Red Wing Central High School, five years of night school to become a union electrician. Attending Devry University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering.
Work: Federal Mogul Lake City Plant electrician
Given the loss of state aid and other factors straining budgets at City Hall, what are some specific services, programs or types of capital purchases that you would advocate cutting?
The ultimate decision of what services get cut needs to come directly from the residents. The first service I would support eliminating is the incinerator. The incinerator will not be financially sustainable in the long term. The incinerator is creeping up on the end of its useful life span and will need an expensive overhaul or replacement.
I question the financial responsibility of delaying or eliminating capitol purchases. Capital purchases primarily covers equipment. Delaying capital purchases is like delaying home repairs, you may save a dollar today, but you will pay more tomorrow.
Along the same lines, are there new ways to raise revenue that you would advocate?
I feel revenue needs to come from a broad base of options. I'd like to see a local sales tax. However that option is not available for at least two years. Franchise fees are another reliable source of revenue to explore. Fees are a good way to raise revenue because all properties pay them.
I also support increasing the levy. Because of the decreased property values, a flat levy is truly reducing revenue. I feel that if we want to keep services the same, we needs to keep the same amount of money coming in, not just the same percent.
What are some specific ways you would invite and encourage citizen involvement as a council member?
The best way I can invite citizen involvement to ask people to do anything they can to stay informed of what their government is doing. Call your council member, and ask questions, read the local newspaper, go to the city website. Do anything you can to gain more information. I feel it is important to remind people that the council and the city work for the citizens. The citizens are in charge; the council members are their employees. If your employee is not performing the way you want let them know.
How as a council member would you promote cultural diversity and tolerance in Red Wing?
Education. As people become more educated about different cultures, they tend to become more accepting. Cultural festivals are a great way to promote the learning process.
What about Red Wing's government, economy or culture would you most like to change?
Recently we as a community have been very quick to compare us to other comparable communities and point out services Red Wing offers that other don't and ask "why." Look at our differences and be proud that Red Wing does not settle for the bare minimum. Brag about the great police and fire/ambulance service's provided. Be proud of the services you have that other don't. You would never tell your child that earns "A's" at school to study less because the comparable students only average "C's." I'd like to see the community to reclaim the pride for our community.